The visitor's trail
There are 9 points of interest (POI) along the trail of which POI 1 and POI 2 comprise a combination of film, virtual reality and immersive technologies that together create a new whole. Wearing Samsung Gear VR visors, spectators are greeted with a 360° filmed view of the Ara Pacis as it is today only to then find themselves in a white space in which the monument appears in its original colours and in the presence of the Emperor Augustus, the very particular guide to the journey of discovery around the Campo Marzio. Having listened to explanations of the various monuments, visitors can then admire the Campo Marzio itself thanks to a 3D reconstruction seen from above, before finding themselves in the middle of the area that embraces the Pantheon, the Saepta Julia (the voting precinct), Augustus’ Mausoleum and the aqueduct, all clearly visible in their magnificence. After an emotional fly-past, Augustus leads visitors to the front of the original coloured version of the Ara Pacis in order to watch the sacrificial ritual that has been reconstructed in 3D and computer graphics and performed by real actors. Once the sacrifice is over, spectators are brought back to reality so that they can continue along the trail and take in all the details of the Ara Pacis provided by POIs 3-9.
At the end of the trail, Augustus appears in a procession, followed by his family, surrounded and protected by augurs (a type of priest), lictors (civil servants acting as bodyguards) and priests who accompany him as he performs a sacred ceremony. This is not merely the simple representation of a state ritual, but the image of the present and future of Rome as it lives through its institutions. For the first time ever, Augustus and his family, children included, can be seen on a public monument.